Today, bloggers who needed a little help nailing down a topic in order to fill their page (yes, that’d be me) were prompted by The Daily Post to analyze whether there is “a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of ‘love’,” be it love for a parent, child, spouse, friend, pet, place, or other inanimate object.
Most people would probably agree that love takes different forms, but I’m not sure anyone, including me, can clearly explain why. I can tell you that the love I feel for my hubby is different than the love I feel for my mom, and neither are the same as the love for my friends. One love is not greater than the others, they’re all just different. I imagine the difference is linked to the other factors and emotions that come with those relationships–physical intimacy, emotional vulnerability, trust, loyalty, dependence, obligation. What all of my people loves have in common, though, is fulfillment. Each of these loving relationships fills a gap in my life, answers an echo in my soul, lives in a sheltered place in my heart. I give love and receive love in return, so my world feels balanced and whole.
My people love is on a whole different plane than my love for inanimate things, although I’d argue that the love of those things still makes my world feel more balanced and whole. The places and things that I love move me, stir my soul, fill my heart, expand my mind. I love the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Orkney Islands of Scotland because they speak on a visceral level to some primitive, unnamable part of my being–I feel a connectedness there that I feel nowhere else on earth. (Orkney is a recent find, so I suspect in future travels I might stumble across other locales that elicit the same response.) I love music in general, and certain songs in particular, because they first touch my heart and mind, then resonate within my soul. I love books because they challenge my perceived truths, introduce new ideas, spark memories, and inspire my future. I love my childhood Raggedy Ann doll, my dad’s softball glove, the threadbare Snoopy Red Sox t-shirt I stole from my hubby, and my grandmothers’ class rings because they remind my heart of my people loves. I love Oreo cookies because…well, sometimes love requires no explanation. 😉
Bottom line, the different loves in my life make me who I am, drive me to be a better person, and fuel my happiness. Best of all, these loves are not jealous, leaving me free to add new loves as I move through life and discover other people, places, and things that stir my soul.